Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Hydrology and Water Resources


The Graduate Certificate in Hydrology and Water Resources prepares students to become leaders in research and application designed to address challenges in water resources.

The amount, flux, and quality of water are central to nearly all issues of sustainability. The Hydrology and Water Resources certificate at the University of Utah integrates courses from five colleges to provide a rigorous, quantitative assessment of water stores and fluxes across the temporal and spatial scales that represent integrated water resource management. Drawing on courses from four colleges and six departments, this program is a collaboration between the Graduate School, the Sustainability Office, and the Global Change and Sustainability Center.

The program has been designed to meet the educational requirements for certification as a professional hydrologist by the American Institute of Hydrology.

Who can enroll in the Certificate program?

  • The Certificate is designed primarily for STEM students, although any student enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Utah may apply for the program, provided they have prerequisites for courses in the curriculum
  • Non-degree-seeking students with a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university

Application and Admission Process

  • University of Utah students should apply for the Certificate program as soon as they decide to pursue it, and must apply to the program prior to the semester of graduation via the online application.
  • Applications will be reviewed twice each year.
  • Applications for Spring semester are due no later than November 15.
  • Applications for Fall semester are due no later than August 1.
  • Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed in the following application cycle.
  • Required for non-matriculated students: (1) confirmation of admission status as non-degree seeking student at the University of Utah, (2) transcripts confirming bachelors degree and GPA.
    • For non-matriculated students, U of U admission dates are different from general admission dates. Please see the Admissions website for current information.

Curriculum Requirements

(a minimum of 15 credit hours)

3 core courses (6 credits)
  • Global Change & Sustainability Seminar (1 credit, Fall or Spring, SUST 6800)
  • Hydrology Professional Development Seminar (2 credits, offered Spring, GEO 5910 or cross-listed courses)
  • Hydrology and Water Resources (3 credits, offered Fall, GEO 5650 or cross-listed courses)
3 elective courses (9 credits)

The three courses must be chosen from the approved list of electives within the following guidelines:

  • One course should have an applied focus (e.g., engineering, planning, law).
  • No more than two electives can be from the same department.
  • A total of 10 credit hours, including the Hydrology and Water Resources core course, must have a quantitative focus.
    Courses taken at the University of Utah prior to official admission to the program may count towards certificate.


  • Maximum of four years for completion
  • Courses must be completed with a grade of B or better
  • Courses used towards completion of the Certificate may also count towards matriculated graduate student departmental degree requirements, if applicable
  • Nine credits from the Certificate may be applied towards a future graduate degree (applies to non-matriculated students only)
  • Non-matriculated students will need a permission code to enroll in graduate courses


Students must complete a minimum of nine credits from the following list:

  • ATMOS 6030 – Climate Dynamics
  • ATMOS 6050 – Environmental Instrumentation
  • ATMOS 6240 – Land-Atmosphere Interactions
  • ATMOS 6250 – Mountain Meteorology
  • ATMOS 5040/6040 – Environmental Statistics
  • ATMOS 5500/6500 – Numerical Weather Prediction
  • ATMOS 5520/6520 – Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • ATMOS 6150 – Cloud System Modeling
  • ATMOS 6220 – Boundary Layer Meteorology


  • BIOL 5490 – Ecosystem Ecology
  • BIOL 5495 – Biophysical Ecology
  • BIOL 5460 – Plant Ecology in a Changing World
  • BIO/GEO 5470 – Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry and Ecology
  • BIO/GEO 5473 – Stable Isotope Ecology
  • BIO/GEO 5495 – Biophysical Ecology


  • CMP 6371 – Complexity and Systems Thinking
  • CMP 6960 – Green Infrastructure


  • GEO 5350 – Groundwater
  • GEO 5360 – Fluid Dynamics of Earth Materials
  • GEO 5370 – Contaminant Partitioning for Engineers and Scientists
  • GEO 5385 – Introduction to Groundwater Modeling
  • GEO 5390 – Solute Transport and Subsurface Remediation
  • GEO 5690 – Aqueous Geochemistry for Engineers and Scientists
  • GEO 5920 – Snow Hydrology
  • GEO 5475 – Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry in Ecology Laboratory


  • GEOG 5160 – Spatial Modeling with GIS
  • GEOG 5210 – Global Climate Change
  • GEOG 5290 – Water in Utah
  • GEOG 5292 – Snow & Ice
  • GEOG 6110 – Environmental Analysis Through Remote Sensing


  • CVEEN 5420 – Open-Channel Flow
  • CVEEN 5605 – Water and Wastewater Treatment Design
  • CVEEN 5610 – Environmental Engineering Chemistry
  • CVEEN 6410 – Watershed Modeling
  • CVEEN 6430 – Stormwater Management and Design
  • CVEEN 6440 – Water Distribution Systems Design
  • CVEEN 6470 – Surface Water Quality Prediction and Assessment
  • CVEEN 6480 – Water Resources Planning and Management
  • CVEEN 7410 – Flood Modeling and Simulation
  • CVEEN 7430 – Advanced Subsurface Hydrologic Modeling


  • ME EN 5700 – Intermediate Fluid Dynamics
  • ME EN 6720 – Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • ME EN 7720 – Turbulent Flows and Mixing
  • ME EN 7710 – Environmental Fluid Dynamics


  • LAW 7230 – Water Law
  • LAW 7200 – Natural Resources
  • LAW 7240 – Environmental Law

Students completing the requirements of the Graduate Certificate in Hydrology and Water Resources will be able to:

  • Demonstrate broad, quantitative understanding of hydrologic partitioning at multiple spatial and temporal scales, including relationships between mass and energy fluxes and water stores
  • Demonstrate depth and expertise in a particular area of hydrology and water resources
  • Apply rigorous conceptual and technical approaches to address applied and basic research questions and management challenges
  • Communicate clearly and precisely within and across disciplinary boundaries
  • Discuss research and application in hydrology and water resources through seminars and engagement with scholars and professionals
  • Recognize the distinction between operational and research methodologies including data collection, analyses, and modeling

Click here for requirements and application for degree-seeking graduate students

Click here for requirements and application for non-matriculated graduates

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What prerequisites do I need?
A. In order to succeed in the certificate program, applicants should have:

  • Background in calculus 1 and 2 and physics 1 and 2. Courses should be indicated on the application form.
  • To determine if other prerequisites are needed for your certificate courses, search for the specific course in the General Catalog. Click on the course title in the search results to display prerequisites and other course information.
  • You may apply for the certificate while completing prerequisites.

Q. What semester does the program begin?
A. Students may start the program in fall or spring.

Q. I have already taken a course/courses that serve as Certificate electives. Does that credit apply to the Certificate?
A. Yes. Students who have previously taken and passed either the GCSC seminar course or the approved electives may use those towards completion of the Certificate.

Q. Where can I find the Academic Completion Plan form?
A. Here: Academic Completion Plan

Q. I am a non-matriculated applicant. How do I obtain a uNID (University ID Number)
A. Once you have applied for admission as a non-matriculated student, you will receive a uNID.

Q. What is the tuition for a non-matriculated student?
A. It depends on the courses in which you enroll. Please go here for general graduate tuition information.

Q. I have more questions. Who should I contact?

A. Please contact any member of the program coordinating committee: Professor Paul Brooks, Geology and Geophysics, Dr. David Bowling, Biology, Dr. Summer Rupper, Geography, or Dr. B.J. McPherson, Civil & Environmental Engineering.

If you have questions not answered here, contact Professor Paul Brooks, Geology and Geophysics, or other members of the program coordinating committee: Dr. Christine Pomeroy, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Dr. Summer Rupper, Geography, or Dr. David Bowling, Biology.